I had fancy ideas about what a non-drinking life would be like. Back when I was a drinker that wanted to stop drinking.
I would be perfect. Because I would look Perfect.
My life would be perfect.
I had no real ideas beyond perfection. But perfect was the aim.
Everyone would look at me and proclaim how perfect my life was.
And because my life was perfect?
Everyone would like me and want to be my friend.
And I would always feel showered with love and acceptance,
Then I stopped drinking. Actually properly stopped. Not just for a few days or weeks at a time, only to start again.
And I discovered the truth.
Stopping drinking has nothing to do with being perfect, or looking perfect, or having people like you.
Stopping drinking permanently, does one thing, and one thing only.
It gives you time.
The time you used to spend drunk?
You get that back.
The time you used to spend hungover?
You get that back too.
The hours everyday spent on obsessing over never drinking again?
The days spent filled with thoughts of self-loathing?
All those hours and days, are given back.
That's a lot of time to suddenly have on your hands.
None of us know what to do with all that time.
It's a dreadful thing to have to bear alone,
All that extra time. Time to sit and regret all the stupid things we've done.
Time to feel how lonely we are. Time to observe all those happy people who know how to handle time, and feel shit about ourselves because we can't be a grown up like they are.
That's why so many of us go back to drinking.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Learning how to turn those extra hours into an ally, instead of an enemy, is one of the corner stones my non drinking life is based on.
Showing women how to do that too, now that I've learned this skill myself, is what I live for, it really is. It's why I get up in the morning.
And the best part is that it has absolutely nothing to do with drinking or non drinking.
And everything to do with just living a normal life.
A life without labels.
Here's the thing:
You can get that sort of help from any type of life coach. Any run-of-the-mill performance coach, or what-have-you.
Honestly, any of them can do it.
That's why I get so royally pissed off when I hear addiction counsellours or therapists spouting off about there only be one way to get "sober".
Urgh. Sober. Dreadful, ugly word.
See? Even I don't want what they are selling. And I already have what they are selling.
So if you feel there is a stigma for you, in getting help from someone who works in the alcohol or addiction sector?
If you feel that label is too much for you to bring into your life?
That's okay, you can still benefit from help without going down that road.
Just go and speak to someone who coaches people and is good with managing their time.
It's definitely better than struggling on your own, out of fear of being labelled a person with a drink problem.
It's certainly better than wasting yet more days, weeks, months or years or your life by trying to tackle this thing on your own, when you already know from experience that it doesn't work.
Isn't it about time to stop being scared of time?